New publisher of the Atlantic Online Courtney Antonioli announced that her company has won a $1 million Knight News Challenge grant to develop news operations in two mid-sized American markets -- Hartford, CT and Columbus, Ohio.
"We're changing the mission of the Atlantic, while preserving its very special brand name," Antonioli explained. "We already have the best stable of racehorse bloggers in our Voices line-up. Our next step is to enlarge the platform and make room for more daily, deadline reporting and analysis. As experiments, we're going to apply some of our new thinking to these two test markets, but that's part of a much bigger set of ideas."
Antonioli announced several key new appointments. Unknown Michael Raciti will will become managing editor Jan. 1. "I have to go through some psychological testing first," he explained. TV veteran Cheyenne Seymour will undertake the job of making Atlantic Online competititve with other outlets in its use of news video.
Kasey Shoemaker will head up a special team that begins brainstorming political coverage for 2010 and 2012 immediately.